Friday, March 8, 2013

Big Oil: We'll Still Hate Obama Just As Much Even If He Builds Keystone XL

Those who support climate action but say it's not worth fighting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline like to imply that President Obama's approval of the pipeline would earn him political capital. But the head of one polluter front group would like to assure Washington that whether President Obama approves or rejects Keystone XL, Big Oil will still hate him just as much.

First, Dave Roberts summarizes the case against #noKXL activists:
Professional wanker Matt Nisbet says [fighting Keystone XL] “distracts” and “limits” Obama’s ability to broker a deal. (A deal on what? With whom? He doesn’t say.) Michael Levi says it makes 60 Senate votes for a price on carbon less likely. (Less likely than impossible?) I could cite a dozen more examples, people casually accusing Keystone activism of impeding or draining energy from other solutions.

What is this good-faith bipartisan progress just waiting to happen if only activists weren’t being unreasonable about Keystone? What do the VSPs have to offer? I don’t see it. I see self-pleasuring dreams of bipartisan Grand Bargains with no awareness of changed political circumstances.
As Jennifer Yachnin reports in today's E&E News (sub. req.), a top oil industry lobbyist says those who think approval of Keystone XL would mean Big Oil will look the other way on other carbon-cutting efforts are dead wrong:
But [American Energy Alliance and Institute for Energy Research President Thomas] Pyle added that approving the pipeline won't curb industry criticism of the Obama administration, including over what it sees as efforts to hold back oil and gas production on federal lands.

"I don't know that it buys him any good will," Pyle said. "There will be lots of statements of thank you ... but ultimately from a political perspective I don't know that it buys him any room to maneuver."

And ill will could linger over how much time it has taken the administration to make a final decision on the pipeline, Pyle added.
All the climate-disrupting carbon pollution and no thanks from his political enemies? All the more reason President Obama should do the right thing and reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
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